Learn How to Easily Remove Gel Acrylic Nails at Home

Gel acrylic nails are a popular nail treatment that can last up to three weeks if taken care of properly. However, when it’s time to remove them, it can be a bit of a challenge. Whether you have an important work meeting or event coming up, or simply want to try a new look, removing gel acrylic nails can be done at home. In this article, we will guide you through step-by-step on how to remove gel acrylic nails at home with easy-to-find tools and without damaging your natural nails.

What are gel acrylic nails?

Before we dive into the removal process, it’s important to understand what gel acrylic nails are. Gel acrylic nails are a type of artificial nail extension made with a mixture of liquid and powder that creates a hard, durable layer on top of your natural nail. The result is a thick, durable manicure that lasts longer than traditional nail polish.

Why remove gel acrylic nails at home?

There are several reasons why you might want to remove your gel acrylic nails at home. For one, it’s a more cost-effective solution than going to the salon every time to have them removed. Furthermore, doing it yourself gives you more control over the process, which can help protect your natural nail. When you remove gel acrylic nails at a salon, there is a chance of file damage, which ultimately weakens your nails.

Tools needed to remove gel acrylic nails at home

  • Acetone nail polish remover
  • Cotton balls
  • Aluminum foil
  • Cuticle pusher
  • Nail buffer
  • Cuticle oil

Step-by-step guide to remove gel acrylic nails at home

Follow these simple steps to remove gel acrylic nails at home:

Step 1: Prepare

Before you begin, prep your work area and assemble all necessary tools. Ensure there is plenty of ventilation because acetone has a strong smell.

Step 2: File

Using a nail file or buffer, carefully remove the shiny topcoat layer from your gel acrylic nails. Be gentle and don’t overdo it. You only need to remove the topcoat smoothly to make the removal process easier.

Step 3: Cut and soak

Cut the cotton balls into small squares and soak them in acetone. Place the cotton squares on top of your nail bed, add a small amount of acetone on top of each one, and wrap each finger with aluminum foil wrap. Wait for 10-15 minutes without moving your fingers.

Step 4: Check the gel

After 15 minutes, gently remove the aluminum foil and the cotton from your fingers. If the gel is bonding, use a cuticle pusher to remove more gently. If it’s still bonding, wrap your finger again and wait for 5 minutes more.

Step 5: Remove remaining gel

Using the cuticle pusher, work gently to scrape away the remaining gel on your nails. If you need to, reapply acetone to cotton and wrap your finger again to make the gel easier to remove without damaging your nails.

Step 6: Buff your nails

Using the nail buffer, smooth out your natural nails, removing any remaining gel or dead skin. Be gentle and do not buff your nails too hard, as this can also damage them.

Step 7: Rehydrate your nails

After removing the gel acrylic nails, rehydrate your natural nails with cuticle oil. You can also apply a moisturizing hand lotion to all of your fingers to restore proper hydration.

Tips for removing gel acrylic nails at home

  • Be patient: Removing gel acrylic nails will take some time.
  • Don’t pick or peel the gel: This can damage your natural nails.
  • Use acetone/chip clips if you don’t have aluminum foil.
  • Don’t force the gel: If it isn’t budging, give it a little more time to soak in acetone.
  • Avoid using metal tools if possible: These can scratch the nail bed, which can make it weaker.


Removing gel acrylic nails can be an easy process if you have the right tools and patience. With these steps, you can have your natural nails back to their original state and move on to the next nail style with healthy nails. It’s best to take some time between each set to let your nails breathe and recover before applying another gel acrylic treatment. Always be gentle to preserve the health of your natural nails and repeat this process every two to three weeks to maintain healthy nails.

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